Rabbi Greisman's Blog

Ever ride an Uber?


Earlier this week I was visiting a friend in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and enjoying the 70-degree weather this December has brought, I was wearing only a suit when I left my in-laws' home in Crown Heights, about half way across Brooklyn. No coat, sweater or even an umbrella, as it appeared that the rain had stopped. I didn't bother to check the forecast. 

Well, upon leaving his office I was caught by a major downpour. After trying to jog the first half of the six blocks to the nearest subway station, I gave up, stopped under a outdoor staircase for shelter and summoned an Uber to take me to the neatest subway station.

"Hey, Man Nishma," greets me the driver; and for the first time in my out-of-Israel life, I was picked up by an Israeli cab driver, something unusual even in Brooklyn. After making small talk, I inquired whether he put on Tefillin today, and when he replied he didn't, I felt terrible that I hadn't taken them along, something I almost always do. "Listen," I said after a quick thought, "here's my offer to you. As you see, I was only planning to take you to the nearest subway station, about a five minute drive. If you agree to put on Tefillin when we get to our final destination -- I will take you all the way to Crown Heights, about five times the original cab fare you were going to make on this ride." 

We were both happy when he readily agreed -- him for making a few extra bucks and I for being able to get this Mitzvah. 

Earlier this week Chabad of Northwest Arkansas launched a year-end Chai-campaign, to raise 18,000 dollar to cover the remaining five-percent of 2015's balance and the first five percent of 2016. Corresponding the to the 36 candles we light on Chanukah, we invited our friends and supporters to be one of thirty-six lamplighter to help spread the bright flame of Torah and Judaism in Northwest Arkansas. With one three-thousand dollar candle lighter; five at one thousand; ten at five hundred and twenty at two-hundred-fifty, we can easily reach this goal. As a matter of fact, we already raised 7,783 dollars and we are nearly half way through.

At Chabad, going out of our way for another Jew, materially or spiritually, isn't just a cliche - it's a way of life. Please take a moment in the last few days of 2015 and make your generous contribution to Chabad; where we spare no effort, time or cost to be there for our fellow Jew. whatever the need.

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